Shirdi: Congress today took a swipe at the BJP-led Maharashtra government over early release of Sanjay Dutt from jail, saying the actor was given a "separate justice" because he is a celebrity and not a commoner.
The Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, "The actor was earlier released on parole many times (while serving the jail term). There are thousands of such good-behavioured convicts in various jails. Will government award similar justice to such prisoners?"
A "separate justice" was handed to Dutt as he is a "celebrity and not a commoner", he alleged. The government used the "special rights" to release Dutt on parole on several times when he was serving the jail term in connection with the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, he claimed.
"Law is same for every prisoner, but since Dutt is a celebrity, he was given a seperate justice and this act of government is objectionable," Vikhe Patil said.
The former Congress minister said that around 50 lakh cases are pending before various courts of law in the state.
"Many undertrial prisoners accused in cases of bomb blast, terrorism and other crimes are languishing in jails. Their family members are crying for them and also urging courts to speed up hearing of such cases.
"It's wrong on part of government to keep the accused under custody for a couple of years without trial. Many such complaints of violation of human rights were filed," he said.
Vikhe Patil said in state like Maharashtra even the trial for cases like pick-pocketing takes five-seven years to commence.
He appealed to government to take appropriate steps to clear the backlog of court cases.